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Health costs and policy in an ageing Australia

Chairman's speech

Commission Chairman Gary Banks delivered the 2008 Health Policy Oration at the Australian National University (ANU) on 26 June 2008.

  • Contents


The health 'market'
A creature of government

Technological change is a key driver of health costs
Understanding technology's cost impacts
The outlook for technology

Population ageing will compound future cost increases
Impacts of ageing
Health costs rise (sharply) with age
Counter-arguments don't hold up
The impacts of ageing could be understated
Projected health expenditure
Identifying the ageing-related component

Some policy implications
Three broad options for governments
Attaining the ideal: a 'market' analogy

Demand-side policies
A bigger role for 'pricing'?
Information and consumer 'empowerment'
Preventive action
Regulatory options

Supply-side policies
Incentives and productivity
Better decision-making processes
Health workforce regulation and remuneration

System-wide issues